Adventists for Social Action is a blog for Adventists attempting to embody God’s love for the world through advocacy, volunteerism and other humanitarian adventures. As the Body of Christ, we are collectively committed to continuing the work Jesus started while walking this earth — spreading the good news of the Kingdom by serving, healing and teaching (Matt. 11:4-5; 1 Corinthians 12:27; Mark 10:45; Mark 3:10; Acts 1:3).
This blog is a collection of our stories and thoughts regarding this work of spiritually-motivated social action. The views expressed by each contributor do not necessarily reflect those of the other writers or the Seventh-day Adventist church. We each take responsibility for our own opinions.
To understand the blog more fully, consider the meaning of each element in the name:
We are members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church or are associated with the Adventist faith community in some way. Adventism has a rich history of activism that inspires us. Though we are all connected to the Seventh-day Adventist movement, this blog is in no way sanctioned by the SDA church. We write independently of the organized body. To learn more about the Seventh-day Adventist worldview, please visit these webpages—Beliefs and Statements.
For our purposes activism is defined broadly as action for social, economic or environmental change at the personal, community, state, national and/or international levels.
Using the “give a man a fish” metaphor, we are concerned about: (a) giving fish effectively, (b) teaching people how to fish, (c) advocating for everyone to have access to the pond, (d) getting people upstream to stop polluting the water, and (e) understanding God’s passion for everyone to have enough fish to eat (maybe tofu would have been a more appropriate “better world” analogy).
Broad themes are poverty, oppression, peace, justice, human rights, etc. Specific topics include human trafficking, access to clean water, support of refugees and immigrants, hunger, access to education, the environment, HIV/AIDS, economic inequality, homelessness, access to health care, interfaith relations, fair trade, worker rights, socially responsible investing, corporate social responsibility, gangs, peacemaking, torture, sex/gender issues, racism, political advocacy, religious freedom, domestic violence, child abuse, genocide, ethnic cleansing, child soldiers, nationalism, intentional communities, radical hospitality, sustainability, and so many more.
Right thought and right action operate in a continual feedback loop. God’s justice and righteousness, as proclaimed throughout the Scriptures, challenge us and guide us as we wrestle with how to positively engage our communities and societies today. We seek and pray for the peace of our city while striving to live and teach the things that make for peace (Jer. 29:7, Luke 1:79). For more, see Theology of Peace.
The Bible is replete with teachings on peace, justice, righteousness and compassion. If these themes are new to you, here are two great places to start (OT/NT + EGW):
- Isaiah 58 + EG White, Welfare Ministry, Ch. 3, “Isaiah 58–A Divine Prescription.”
- Matthew 25:31-46 + EG White, The Desire of Ages, Ch. 70, “The Least of These My Brethren.”
- Additionally, on this website you can find more examples from the Bible and EG White.
Though imperfectly at best, we seek to live God’s love, peace, justice and compassion in our present societal contexts, including the rich, overlapping spheres of economics, politics, human rights, and the environmental. This theology of peace attempts to provide biblical foundation for our concerns and actions.
Ultimately, we are about proclaiming the gospel, the good news of Jesus and life in His just and peaceful kingdom. To this end Ellen White reminds us: “Much more than mere sermonizing is included in preaching the gospel….The union of Christlike work for the body and Christlike work for the soul is the true interpretation of the gospel” (Welfare Ministry, pp. 32-33).
May we accurately put on display our good God (Jer. 9:23-24).
POLITICAL DISCLAIMER: While these topics are highly politically charged, this blog does not support one party or one country over another (even if some of the individual contributors do). Our allegiance is ultimately with the Kingdom of God, not a human political or religious organization, and we are each striving to live that out in our local situation. As Shane Claiborne (no, not an Adventist) says, “It’s not about going left or right. It’s about going deeper.”